NC State is three months into the recruiting year for the class of 2010 and already, several story lines have emerged for the Wolfpack. Pack Pride takes a look at some of the important issues facing State through the first quarter of the year.
In-state recruiting a priority
Some experts said the in-state class of 2009 for NC State was down compared to 2008. While that point is debatable, what isn’t questioned is the Pack’s quick start out of the gate for 2010.
The Pack has already landed North Carolina’s top offensive line prospect in Robert Crisp from Chapel Hill along with his best friend, Pete Singer. They also find themselves in great shape with a host of additional in-state studs.
One of the best is Cary’s Fre’Shad Hunter. State has solidly led for the 3-star defensive lineman and it’s quite possible he could make a decision over the summer. Location and familiarity have played a huge role in establishing the Pack’s lead.
Another player solidly in State’s corner is Southern Durham’s Tony Creecy. He recently added an offer from LSU, further validating his spot as one of the state’s best. The Pack has been the leader for him throughout the recruiting process and is one of State’s best bets to fill one of a limited number of skill positions for the 2010 class.
Other in-state players that State has become major contenders with include Dudley’s S David Amerson (NC State, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, Clemson), South Columbus DT Ethan Farmer (NC State, UNC, Clemson, Alabama), West Brunswick’s Alfy Hill (UNC, NC State), Hillside DT Eric Young, West Iredell’s P.J. Clyburn (NC State, UNC), Southeast Raleigh LB Kendall Moore (NC State, Florida State, UNC, Notre Dame). The Wolfpack is solidly in the top three or four with all of these prospects.
One strategy NC State has used successfully is to visit their main in-state targets en masse during the spring evaluation period. The Pack has typically taken four coaches to each player’s school and the feedback has been positive for State. From here, the next step will be to try to get as many of the in-state prospects back on campus- preferably during their camps being held in June. Without a doubt, if things work out positively for the Wolfpack, the majority of this class will originate from North Carolina.
Pack sticks to the plan with quarterback recruits
Since arriving at NC State, head coach Tom’ O’Brien has faithfully stuck to his approach of evaluating quarterbacks in person at their summer camps. That process has yielded the Pack’s last two quarterbacks (Mike Glennon and Everett Proctor).
It will be the same this summer as State will bring in a host of QB’s who will vie for the Wolfpack’s first QB offer. Perhaps the two headliners will be El Cajon (CA) QB Peter Thomas and Waynesville (NC) QB Tyler Brosius.
Thomas is a four-star prospect with several offers already who loved his recent visit to NC State. The Pack reportedly loves his potential but wants to see him in person before offering.
Brosius is likely the state’s top drop-back QB and like Thomas, thoroughly enjoyed previous visits to Raleigh. Should either be offered, one would have to consider State a solid option for both.
Other signal-callers to watch this summer are Marcellus (NY) Will Fiacchi, Coconut Creek’s (FLA) Brandon Doughty, Calhoun (Ga) Nash Nance, Boiling Spring’s (SC) Dylan Thompson and Boca Raton’s (FLA) Eddie Sullivan.
Defensive line and safety spots take center stage
The Pack could take as few as six or seven players on offense in the class of 2010 which means defense will take center stage. Of those spots, the defensive line and safety appear to be the most critical while State may take just one linebacker and no cornerbacks when all is said and done.
NC State’s needs at safety and the defensive line are reflected well on the current recruiting board. Pack Pride currently lists six safeties (Daunte Carr, Frank Tamakloe, P.J. Clyburn, David Amerson, Dontae Johnson and Jakar Hamilton) that State has at least a decent shot of landing on signing day. Those numbers are in addition to the current commitment of Pete Singer. In all, the Wolfpack could sign as many as three safeties.
Look for State to take as many as four or five defensive linemen in the class of 2010. At defensive end, State appears to have a decent shot with at least four major prospects including Alfy Hill, Zack McCray, Fre’Shad Hunter and Brandon Burrows.
At the defensive tackle spot, State is in good shape with Eric Young, Ethan Farmer, Evan Hailes and Ethan Farmer. We wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a junior college name or two emerging next fall as well.
Will the border states be productive?
While the lion’s share of the 2010 class will likely come from North Carolina, both South Carolina and Virginia could prove productive as well.
The Pack has made a concerted effort to establish a recruiting foothold into the Palmetto State, in particular. Tight end’s coach Jim Bridge is State’s lead man in South Carolina and has helped the Pack emerge as a bigger recruiting player in that state.
After landing Asa Watson last year and Sterling Lucas in 2008, the Wolfpack has it’s eye on several prospects for the class of 2010 including DT A.J. Cann, DT Thomas Teal, QB Dylan Thompson, OL Logan Stewart, RB Mustafe Green and ATH Bashaud Breeland. The Pack is probably in the best shape with Cann, Teal, Thompson and Stewart at this point although it’s certainly possible new names will pop up over the course of the year.
While they may not have had quite as much success in Virginia, the Pack is still hitting the Commonwealth hard. The Pack is in good shape with Evan Hailes and in the game with players like DE Zack McCray, CB Rijo Walker and LB Travis Williams.
When all is said and done we wouldn’t be surprised to see State land several prospects from these two states as the Pack continues to expand it’s recruiting reach.
Offensive line recruiting?
The offensive line position may be the biggest question mark right now. However, there’s no mistaking how big the addition of Rob Crisp was earlier this year.
Left tackles are one of the toughest positions to recruit and Crisp’s commitment allows the Pack to narrow it’s offensive line focus headed forward.
Although the specifics are unknown at this point, we believe State will look to take a center and guard in addition to Crisp. As far as prospects go, the Pack has been involved with the likes of Christian Pace, Jack Deboef, Robby Havenstein and Eric Mack. However, while the Pack has expressed interest in all of these players, it’s been difficult to discern just how hard State is after any one in particular.
For now, the OL spot will continue to be a work in progress and one to watch in the coming months as we wait to find out exactly where State appears to be headed in filling this position.